Friday, January 6, 2017

Cuba Libre - Cronstria Fight #31


AKA The reduction of Dubrovna, Fight #6

It's 1135 on 2 July 1990 and Battlegroup Elias is on the verge of completing its mission to take the Cronistrian town of Dubrovna.  1st Platoon  had made the initial breach into the city, and 2nd Platoon expanded it, with heavy fighting to take the 'Old Town' portion of the city.  3rd Platoon passed through them, clearing the balance of Dubrovna.  3rd Platoon finds the going easy, particularly as they're able to make use of a couple AMX-10RCs in the wider boulevards of the newer sections of town.  A couple 105mm rounds into a building makes believers rather quickly, so 3rd Platoon found itself primarily responsible for searching prisoners and shuttling them to the rear.  However, as they reached the edge of town the AMXs were called off to deal with some enemy armor spotted to the south, and the Platoon Commander heard a flurry of rifle shots up ahead, from the area of 3rd Squad, the platoon's point element.  Seems there were a few hardliners holed up in an old, bombed out industrial plant.

Overview of table, north is up.  The factory is in the southwest outskirts of town, with a tree-lined road leading to it, and open fields to the far side (which is perhaps why the bad guys chose to make their stand here, there was nowhere else to go).  The Cubans will start the fight on the right side of the factory, the Communists on the left.

This is my brand spankin' new piece of terrain from Novus design, and it's fantastic.  It took me a full day to paint and wash, but it looks great and I'm happy to have it.  I have another large piece like this from Novus, but so far I've only found time to prime it.  Lotta work ahead of me still.

The opposing forces, with bad guys on the left and good guys on the right.  The Cubans will always have eight men (so that my son and I can always control four guys, each), while the bad guys will roll to see if they get 6, 7, or 8 guys.  Here they only got six men.

The Cuban squad, eight men in two fireteams, 15mm Modern Marines from Peter Pig, painted up in temperate MARCAM.  These are anonymous squads within Battlegroup Elias, not named characters, so I'm going to use a generic set of names through each of this series (of six) battle reports.  We are not following a single squad, or even a single platoon; I just don't feel like trying to come up 48 different names for this set of fights.  So, please bear with me ;)

Team 1:
Team Leader: Corporal Lira
SAW Gunner: LCpl Galban
Assistant Gunner: PFC Aguilar
Scout: Private Salazar

Team 2:
Team Leader: Corporal Lupe
SAW Gunner: LCpl Garcia
Assistant Gunner: PFC Abrera
Scout: Private Solis

The bad guys, 15mm Modern Russians from Eureka Miniatures, painted up in 'Sun Bunny' camo.  Each game we roll to see how many bad guys there will be on table, with the options being 6, 7, or 8 men.  With eight men they get two whole teams, each of a grenadier, a machine gunner with PKM, and two riflemen with AKs.  As this enemy unit only has seven men, they lose one grenadier and one of the PKM machine guns.

Overview, this time with troops.  Cubans on the right, bad guys on the left.

A close up of the Cuban start positions, with Team 1 on the left and Team 2 on the right.

The bad guys, consisting of six men, from top center left to bottom right.

Now ist der time on Shprockets ven ve danse!!!  The boy rolls, the Cubans have won initiative and start the fight.

Team 2's SAW Gunner, LCpl Garcia (bottom center right, the bottom right Cuban in the photo), opening fire, sending tracers all the way across the factory at the enemy machine gunner.

And, quite incredibly, dropping him like a sack of potatoes!  Nice start, yes?

Then, on the left, Team 1's Scout, Pvt Salazar (right), spots two Communists moving up the flank.  He sights in and fires.

Dropping one (top left) and suppressing one (red bead)!!!  Wow, now that's a start!

Pvt Salazar begins moving up the flank (bottom right), but a bad guy (top left) spots him and fires.

Team 1's SAW Gunner, LCpl Galban (right), looks on as Salazar goes down (bottom center).  Well, okay, maybe not a perfect start?

Galban (bottom right) screams out, "Salazar's down!" then cuts loose a long burst at the offending Communist (top left).  Team 1's leader, Cpl Lira, is just above Galban.

But Galban's (top right) rounds go wide, and the enemy soldier (bottom left) returns fire, knocking the SAW gunner down!

Team 1's Assistant Gunner, PFC Aguilar (Galban has the white bead at bottom center left, Aguilar is immediately to his right, with Cpl Lira between them), returns fire (top left, again).

Again the bad guy (bottom left) dodges the incoming rounds and returns fire, but this time he misses too.

Aguilar moves to Galban and checks his buddy: he's good to go, back in the fight.

Now it's Cpl Lira's turn (bottom center right): he lines up on the guy that shot his men (top left, with Cpl Lupe at right) and fires his rifle, pinning the bad guy.

Cpl Lira then dashes further into the factory (bottom right), but another enemy soldier (top left, with the guy he just pinned at top center) spots him and fires, pinning the good Corporal.

Seeing Cpl Lira pinned down (yellow bead at center), Cpl Lupe (bottom center) raises his weapon and fires (top center right).

And yet another bad guy falls in the bad guy line of duty (the one at far left; the one at far right is the machine gunner, killed in the opening burst of fire)!

Cpl Lupe dashes forward (top right, with Cpl Lira at far right), but a one of the few remaining bad guys (far left) spots him and fires his AK.

Suppressing Cpl Lupe (red bead at far right, with Cpl Lira pinned at left).  PFC Abrera (bottom center right), Team 2's A-gunner, returns fire on the bad guy (top center).

Sorry, I tried a 'ground level' shot, not sure it worked...

Abrera's (top right) rounds miss, and the bad guy (bottom left) returns fire, suppressing him!  Hey, things are going to crap pretty quick here.

With Abrera suppressed at top right, Cpl Lupe suppressed at center, and Cpl Lira pinned at bottom (just visible), Team 2's Scout, Pvt Solis, dashes ahead to seize the momentum back (top left).

Where he (top right) sights in and fires on the bad guy (bottom left) that suppressed Cpl Lupe, knocking him down!  The pinned Communist (yellow bead, just above the orange tracer), with so many Cubans nearby, is unsure what to do next.

The Commies are in a bad way: they've only got three men left, and one of them is knocked down (white bead at far left), meaning he can't get back in the fight unless one of his guys moves over into base contact to check him, which is going to be very difficult as 1) the other two bad guys are pinned (yellow bead at cop center, with Pvt Solis right across from him) and suppressed (red bead at bottom right), and 2) they've got to cross a lot of ground to reach him, with a lot of Cubans with weapons watching.

The suppressed Communist at bottom right self rallies and is back in the fight.

While the pinned bad guy (top left) needs to take on some of these Cubans, so he chooses the best shot he has and takes it.  What he's got is a line of fire that targets Cpl Lira (center), then moves on to LCpl Galban and PFC Aguilar (bottom right).  The Communist empties an entire magazine from his AK.

Cpl Lira (top left) is suppressed, while Galban and Aguilar are both pinned.  Hmm, could have been worse.

With Cpl Lupe suppressed at top left, Cpl Lira (bottom left) and PFC Abrera (far right) both try to self rally, and both are successful.  LCpl Garcia (top right) calls out: "hang on Corporal, I'm coming!"

Garcia low crawls forward to Cpl Lupe and helps get him back in the fight.

*On a game note, I don't know that that's ever happened before.  I don't like it; from now on, subordinates may not move up to rally their boss, he has to use an activation to self rally.  I think.  I dunno, I must ponder this.  Maybe if it's not so much a guy coming to check on him, but more of a buddy moving up to lay down fire on the bad guy(s) that has the leader suppressed/pinned so he can get his marbles together.  But we used a 'scurry' on Garcia to move to Cpl Lupe and rally him without drawing react fire, and it didn't feel right.

Freshly rallied, Cpl Lupe (bottom right) opens fire on the pinned bad guy (top left), keeping him pinned.

While back on the left, PFC Aguilar (top right) opens fire on the just rallied Commie there (bottom left), pinning him.  With all bad guys taking cover to due fire or knocked down...

Pvt Solis dashes up the right side into close combat with the pinned enemy soldier.

Solis dispatches him with a quick burst (top right), then moves up to the corner (top center left), looking to make a meal of the knocked down bad guy (bottom left).

LCpl Galban moves up (center)...

Where the bad guy spots him and opens fire!  Galban is knocked down, and Cpl Lira is pinned (his legs are just visible above Galban).

I shouldn't have, pinned guys aren't supposed to be able to use reaction fire, but I figure this guy is desperate, and I want a fight, so I let him.

The bad guy that just knocked down Galban (far right) takes off running (bottom left), hoping to reach his knocked down comrade (far left).

At top right, LCpl Garcia spots the bad guy (bottom left), and cuts loose with his SAW...

The rounds zip and snap by, but the bad guy makes it to cover (bottom center left), near his comrade.  He quickly spins and returns fire, knocking down Garcia!  But then he spots a Cuban lurking nearby (Solis, top left).

Cpl Lupe (top right, next to the knocked down Garcia) levels his M-203 and returns fire, knocking the enemy rifleman down!  Clearing the way...

For Solis!  The big Cuban scout double times it forward, looking to finish the last two bad guys!

But the first knocked down Communist he comes to (bottom right) rolls over and cuts loose a burst from his rifle, driving Solis back (red bead at top left)!!!  What!!!???  Repulsed!!!???  A happy, healthy Cuban rifleman against a "man-down" enemy soldier!!!???  This seems to be happening with alarming regularity...

*See Ivan, this is why nothing is a gimme, you always make the roll ;)

But Cpl Lira, despite still being pinned (yellow bead at far right) sees movement, draws a bead, and fires, knocking the enemy soldier down again.

With the last two bad guys knocked down and unable to act, the Cubans move up on left (bottom) and right (top), getting their men back in the fight.

Then they fan out and encircle the two prostate enemy soldiers.  The Cubans close in and capture the two bad guys, game, set, match.

Mopping up operations continued for a couple more hours, but Captain Elias called in to Task Force Galban Headquarters to declare Hill 489 and Dubrovna secured as of 1730 local time on 2 July 1990.  Mission accomplished, lots of fun.  I hope you guys had half as much fun as the boy did.  But it's high time he and I get back to some 'opposed' games, vice 'co-op' games.  He's getting a bit big for his britches, basically declaring after both the last two fights that he did all the work.

I am not exactly sure what we're going to play yet, but the weekend is coming and we'll be playing something, so stay tuned.



  1. A good ending to the series. It was sort of a straight up firefight across the building (simplifying a bit here) but it worked.

    You did ask about the gun shot picture - it did work.

    And Garcia rallying Cpt Lupe? I think you explained it quite well - Garcia is firing some shots to keep the enemy down while Lupe is getting it together. Just because it happened on a scurry is one of those things - Garcia saw an opening and went for it. Something like this (to expand your narrative):

    Garcia looks over and sees Cpl Lupe is trapped with shots bouncing off the wall around him. He knows the Corporal will get his act together once their is a short interval in the bullets, but decides to hasten the bullet break. He looks around and the Commies in line of sight are all looking elsewhere.
    "Hang on Corporal, I'm coming!".
    Garcia crawls over to the Corporal. Luckily none of the enemy were perceptive enough to notice the movement, continuing to focus elsewhere. Garcia then looses off a few shots of his own to keep the Commies off their backs for a few vital seconds. The Corporal lifts his head and lets off a few shots of his own.
    "Thanks Garcia"
    "Need ya sooner rather than later, Corporal!"

    Or not :-) I think anything can be explained away!

    1. Shaun,

      Thanks man, it was a lot of fun and I'm glad you liked it. Glad the photo worked, and you're the second one to tell me it didn't seem odd that a subordinate was, in essence, rallying a senior. I agree, anything can be explained, it just almost felt like cheating in the game ;)

      More to come!